(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is one in a series of articles on proposed changes to county zoning regulations currently being discussed.”
For about three years, county representatives have been working on a revision of the Barton County rural zoning system and Environmental Manager Judy Goreham told the Barton County Commission this week that its time for the county to start making some changes.
Goreham stresses that the public should understand the purpose of the system is to make sure that rural residents are aided in establishing businesses, homes or agriculture uses in the rural areas.
And to that end, the county has been working on various zoning issues since the late 1990s.
At the heart of this effort has been the establishment of the county Planning Commission, a nine-member board that works on these issues and two of those members have been on the board since its inception, and that is crucial, Goreham said, because it allows there to be a link to how such issues have been addressed over the years.
In June, 2000, she noted, the county commissioners adopted the first set of zoning regulations. But that was impacted almost immediately as four of the county cities exercised their legal right to establish buffers around their city limits, which fall into the city zoning responsibility. Hoisington, Claflin and Ellinwood all established one-mile areas and Great Bend set its at three miles.
However, that still leaves six unincorporated towns and the rest of the rural area that is under the county regulations, and that impacts a lot of rural neighborhoods, because there are so many rural subdivisions and other housing clusters throughout the county, Goreham noted.
And that is one of the types of areas where the complaints originate, she explained.